This essay concerns paranoia's apocalyptic implications when harnessed by the state. It argues that current characterizations of paranoia as either resistance to globalization or a lay critique of Enlightenment ideals do not obviate paranoia's destructive dynamics in the service of state power. Paranoia remains a political phenomenon that calls for analysis at the level of the structure of rule. The essay explores one approach to paranoia as a political category through an ideal-typical model drawn from Elias Canetti's classic 1960 text Crowds and Power. It concludes with a discussion on how technology mediates between power and secrecy, forming a key nexus in the exploration of politics and paranoia.
paranoia, Elias Canetti, Schreber, secrecy, surveillance, technology, democracy, the State, media, biopolitics
© BERG 2010 PRINTED IN THE UK